When Paving Isn’t Possible: Reduce Road Dust With Dust Palliatives

June 11th, 2018

When a vehicle drives down a dirt road, high volumes of dust and dirt dislodge from the road and float into the air. It’s up to local officials to prevent this dust. The simplest solution is to pave the road, but this can be very costly. Fortunately, there’s another solution that’s both affordable and effective: dust palliatives.

Dust palliatives are substances that prevent dust from entering the air. There are different dust palliatives to fit different needs and situations. Let’s look closer at the benefits of dust palliatives and which kind you need for your local roads.

Why Are Dust Palliatives Important?

Keeping dust away from your roads isn’t just a cosmetic issue. Dust palliatives help by:

1. Improving driver visibility
2. Decreasing dust-related health problems such as sneezing, coughing, eye irritation, and asthma attacks
3. Decreasing corrosion on vehicles

Dust doesn’t just bother drivers and construction workers. Dust can also travel in the air and disturb visitors to parks, camping grounds, and other recreational areas. Dust palliatives prevent these dust-related issues and keep the air clean and clear.

How Do Dust Palliatives Work?

There are two main categories of dust palliatives, with different types of palliatives in each category.

Moisture-Increasing Palliatives

These kinds of palliatives increase the moisture in the dirt road, allowing the particles to stick together. The simplest type of this palliative is water. Professionals might also use products that ab it sorb water, such as magnesium chloride and calcium chloride.

Particle-Binding Palliatives

These chemical-based palliatives control dust by binding particles together. There are several different types of particle-binding palliative:

·         Organic dust suppressants are natural dust-reducing products, such as resins and lignosulfonates. Lignosulfonates develop when paper is manufactured. Resins are created from lignosulfonates.

·         Synthetic polymers are liquid or powder substances that add a protective layer to the road. Options include acetates and polyvinyl acrylics.

·         Petroleum-based binders prevent dust by adding a layer of asphalt to the road. Choices are cutback asphalt, emulsified asphalts, and Bunker C.

·         Electrochemical stabilizers neutralize the soil to increase water content. They include ionic stabilizers, petroleum, and bentonite.

If you’re not sure which type is right for you, contact a professional.

How Do I Choose the Right Dust Palliative?

Professionals can evaluate your road to choose the right type of palliative. Along with assessing the road, they’ll also ask you questions about your area and consider factors such as how many vehicles typically drive on the road, how much humidity and precipitation your area receives, and the gradation of the road’s materials.

Certain kinds of dust palliatives are best for certain situations. On the other hand, some dust palliatives don’t work for certain conditions. There are a few points to keep in mind.

1.  If the road has fine dust. Lignosulfonates work best for controlling fine dust.
2.  If you don’t want to close down the road for long. Don’t choose synthetic polymers, which take up to 14 hours to dry.
3. If you’re in a rural area with limited equipment. Water may not be a feasible solution because you’ll need regular access to water trucks. You may not be able to use electrochemical stabilizers, either, because they require special equipment.

Finally, you also need to consider the cost of the palliative and its potential impact on the surrounding environment. You must ensure that these palliatives will not damage local water or vegetation. If the road is close to water sources or low-tolerant vegetation, you might not be able to use lignosulfonates, calcium chlorides, or magnesium chlorides.

Protect your roads and drivers with dust palliatives. If it’s time to add dust palliatives to your local roads, consult with a professional from Hydrograss Technologies. We test our dust palliative options in our lab to determine optimum quality. We can also develop a custom dust palliative plan for your site.